In order to be an effective leader it is critical to be trained effectively. The heartbeat of Baptist Haiti Mission is to come alongside the leaders of Haiti and assist them with the things they need to train and instruct others with a Biblical Worldview. Last week ABWE (Association of Baptists for World Evangelism) came to Haiti and did this very thing. They spent one week teaching lay preachers. They taught them the importance of teaching the entire Gospel. They enabled them to see how the whole Bible points to Christ and the redemptive story. The idea for a conference of this nature did not simply develop over night.
Jim Cook and Gill Thomas who work for ABWE, traveled to Haiti shortly after the earthquake in 2010. It was then he saw the incredible need for a Gospel centered curriculum for the churches of Haiti. ABWE has produced curriculum for several other countries and were certain they could produce the same curriculum for Haiti. Through a series of God orchestrated events and connections the curriculum was translated into Haitian Creole and over 70 lay preachers traveled to Baptist Haiti Mission last Tuesday – Friday to be exposed to this new curriculum.
Gill and Denise Thomas, and Carl Sexton missionaries of ABWE taught the classes. There was a great deal of information to cover in a short period of time. However, it was the heart of the instructors to ensure they did not simply provide the participants with the material, but also equipped them to teach the material.
“We would provide and teach the materials to the lay preachers. We would then split them into groups so they could teach the material to one another. This allowed us to know if they were truly understanding the material or simply giving us courtesy smiles,” said Denise.
Along with providing Gospel centered curriculum in Haitian Creole for the lay preachers, they also taught about the importance of effective evangelism. The model they used for this was “Tilling, Planting, and Reaping”. When sharing about Christ it is important to find out the core beliefs of the person to which you are speaking. Every person is not at the same place and it is important to realize this. The lay preachers were again split into groups and encouraged to illustrate this view of evangelism. Similar to farming, every stage of sharing Christ with someone is important. Below you will see a simple picture of this life changing concept.
Some of the lay preachers traveled for two full days to arrive for the conference. After their time at the conference the overall consensus was that it was worth the journey. There was a great combination of fun and learning that took place over the past week. Pray for the pastors as they return to their home churches eager to share this new material. Also, pray for us this week as we are having Sunday School Teachers travel to BHM to be trained in this curriculum as well. We are excited to see all the Lord has in store, as we seek to effectively equip those who have the power to influence Haiti through the power of the Gospel.